Some things just stay the same through the years, including D.C. dining options. Two Washington restaurants, The Monocle and Taj Mahal, have continued to thrive since their 1960s openings — and their profiles in the pages of Roll Call.
Our Jan. 12, 1967, issue featured a compilation of the best places to dine in Washington. The author of “D.C. Dining Ain’t So Bad” covered the many types of D.C. cuisine, and though many of the column’s picks have come and gone, its descriptions of The Monocle and Taj Mahal remain true even today.
The Monocle, which has been owned by the Valanos family since its inception, has been a Capitol Hill staple since 1960. The restaurant, located at 107 D St. NE, features New American food and is a favorite spot for Members of Congress.
Connie Valanos “plunged into The Hill scene with the reputable Monocle which has done so well it is now in the throes of expansion,” the Roll Call columnist wrote.
According to the 2005 Zagat Survey, The Monocle is “an unofficial extension of the Senate Office Buildings.”
The Taj Mahal has served Indian cuisine for D.C.-area residents since 1965. Taj Mahal is at 1327 Connecticut Ave. NW, with another location in Springfield, Va. In addition to dining, Taj Mahal offers cooking lessons and catering.
The columnist described the restaurant: “for exotic foods of the East is the beautiful Taj Mahal where everything is designed to transpose you away from the workaday world.”